The Cellist of Sarajevo is set during the siege of Sarajevo, which took place from April 5th, 1992 to February 29th, 1996, and is the longest city siege in modern warfare. The inspiration for the book came from the true story of a cellist who decided to play on the site of a mortar attack every day for three weeks, to honor his neighbours killed in the blast. While the book is fiction, it is based upon many true accounts of what life was like during the siege.
The book follows three main characters trying to live out their lives under constant fear of attack. The sights, sounds, and sheer terror of everyday life for these people was brought across very vividly. It was very well written and easy to follow, but I felt that the use of three different characters fragmentated the book too much. It wasn’t long enough to develop each of their characters fully, and so no real story could develop.
If you’d like to get a sense of what life was like for these people during the siege, then this is a great book to read, but I wish that it had been longer, and included more of a plot.